Q: Tiger Woods Destroying His Back? Signs Say Yes

I base this not on medical knowledge or expertise, of which I have none.

I do however notice patterns and I’ve just noticed another pattern in Tiger Woods regarding his attitude towards injury and pain.

I was musing on the latest brouhaha in yesterday’s posting, and when I awoke this morning, I was greeted with the news that Mr. Woods took yesterday off (and when have you heard of him ever taking off a day during the same week as a major tournament?), and underwent several ice baths to combat inflammation.

As noted in the update on yesterday’s posting, you can read the following, courtesy of Nick Menta for Golf Channel:

Needing a day off, Woods took one on Monday, staying off the course at Bellerive and opting instead for an ice bath and some stretching in effort “to get some inflammation down.”

Woods was later asked how many ice baths he’s taken this year and exactly where he was feeling inflammation, but he was short with his response.

“Three. And everywhere,” he answered.

It gets even worse, as I read from Brian Wacker of GolfDigest regarding TW’s view on his physical issues:

“There’s going to be certain days that I’m just not going to have the speed and the flexibility and the movement that I once did,” he said. “I’m 42 now, and I’ve had four back surgeries. So things are going to be different from day to day, and it’s just about managing it.

“I didn’t really have any of those issues when I was early in my career because I didn’t have a fixed point in my back. My knee used to hurt a lot, but I could play around that. Playing around my spine’s a little bit different.”

Looking at the part which I underlined, I can draw only one conclusion: Tiger Woods destroyed his knee by continuing to play through knee pain (and the accompanying damage) caused by the way he swung over the years, and he’s doing the same thing with regards to his back.

“I’m O.K… Everything’s Fine…”

So, let’s do the math:

1. We already know he is taking anti-inflammatory meds when he plays this season, and there is only one reason for continuing inflammation – tissue damage.

If you can point me to one single case of someone having inflammation issues apart from arthritis or some other medical condition that didn’t involve damage to the affected area, then I’d love to hear it.

2. We also know that he is experiencing ongoing stiffness in his back, which if the fusion process was a success, indicates that he’s continuing to swing in a way that is causing discomfort at the least, and more damage at the worst, to his back.

3. We know that he ignored knee pain and damage for years until it completely disintegrated, and that he now admits that it was the way he swung that destroyed it.

4. He has just stated that his only concern with his current condition (instead of swinging in a way that doesn’t cause all of these problems, which there is – a mechanically-sound swing) is that “playing around my spine is a little different” than with his knee.

Add those all together and you get a picture of a man who likely knows that the way he is swinging right now is continuing to damage his back.

He knows, because he can feel it, and he’s undergoing all of these treatments and medications, and here’s what no one on TV is pointing TV when they giggle and say, after yet another back-twisting, booming drive, “I guess the back is OK!”

It’s this: While a disc fusion stabilizes the original damaged area, all you’re doing if you continue to swing with a torqued lower back is transferring those twisting forces to the parts on either side of the fused area.

And that means, if the fusion process was successful, that all of this inflammation, pain and stiffness that Tiger Woods is currently experiencing is in new places other than the fused area.

So, he’s either been told this and is still full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes, or he hasn’t been told this, in which case he should be suing someone for medical malpractice.

In either regard, he apparently has no intention of changing a thing in his approach to the swing, and that ultimately is on him, if the worst comes to pass.

I think that ticking clock just got louder, how about you?

Back Pain or Back Injury Swinging a Golf Club?

Lacking Power, Speed, Distance and or Consistency? 

Need A Swing That Is More Easily Maintained?

If You Answered “Yes” To Any Of The Above Questions, The Answer Is In The Formula For The Golf Swing:

“E = MCS” The Swing Video


2 thoughts on “Q: Tiger Woods Destroying His Back? Signs Say Yes

  1. D.L. Moriarty

    It would appear he thinks God-given athleticism is what is going to keep his career afloat. I personally suffered a hernia and located disc right on top of each other that left me walking on a cane, bent over as though I were 100 years old and caused me to lose 2 inches in height.

    That was over the course of 2 years between ages 23 and 25. I’m 31 now, I LISTENED to my body. PT made my injury worse, which proved to me that doctors can be wrong, or just plain stupid. I had a chiropractor that was imagining new ways to adjust me so he didnt kill me and then i discovered Yoga.

    And do you know who I NEVER have to see because of my golf swing? The chiropractor. I was told that they would begin with epidural injections and then progress to surgery if that didnt work. I had NONE of that. No physical therapy, no injections, no surgery. Most things can be fixed without those extreme options if you listen to your body and do as you’re told…you might come out alright on the other side.

    I have my doubts that Tiger has listened to any advice whatsoever.

    1. D Watts Post author

      I have my doubts that Tiger has listened to any advice whatsoever.

      Based on how he’s reacted to and treated his own physical issues, I would wager that you are correct on that assessment, D.L.

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